Characteristics of gestational diabetic mothers and their babies in an Indian diabetes clinic

Shailaja D Kale, S R Kulkarni, H G Lubree, K Meenakumari, V U Deshpande, S S Rege, J Deshpande, K J Coyaji, C S Yajnik
Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2005, 53: 857-63

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To compare clinical and metabolic features of mothers with gestational diabetes (GDM) and their offspring with those in non-diabetic pregnancies at the King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune, India.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Antenatal information was obtained from hospital records. GDM was diagnosed by 75 g OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) in clinically high-risk women. Anthropometric measurements of mother and the babies were recorded within 24h of delivery and a maternal blood sample collected for hematological and biochemical measurements.

RESULTS: Between the period Jan 1998 to December 2003,265 women with gestational diabetes were treated in our Unit. Forty nine percent had first-degree relatives with diabetes. Compared to non-diabetic mothers (n=215) GDM mothers were older (29.0 vs. 26.0y, p<0.001), more obese (body mass index- BMI 26.0 vs. 22.0 kg/m2, p<0.001), centrally obese (Waist hip ratio-WHR 0.89 vs 0.86, p<0.001), adipose (sum of 4 skinfolds 98.4 vs. 61.4 mm, p<0.001) and had higher blood pressure (127/80 vs. 122/70 mmHg, p<0.001). GDM mothers had higher concentrations of plasma triglycerides (195.0 vs. 153.0 mg/dl, p<0.01); blood hemoglobin (11.7 vs 10.9 g/dl, p<0.001) and higher platelet count but lower concentration of HDL cholesterol and albumin. Sixty percent GDM mothers and 34% of non-diabetic mothers were delivered by caesarean-section, 23% of GDM mothers delivered pre term (<37 wk). Despite the smaller gestation, babies of GDM mothers were heavier (BW 2950.0 vs. 2824.0g, p<0.001, adjusted for gender), longer (48.9 vs. 48.0 cm, p<0.01) and more adipose (sum of 2 skinfolds 10.5 vs. 8.5 mm). Only 5% of babies born to GDM mothers weighed > 4000 g but 30% were >90th centile of birth weight of babies born to non-diabetic mothers. Babies of GDM mothers suffered higher neonatal morbidity.

CONCLUSIONS: GDM mothers in urban India are more obese and more adipose than non-diabetic mothers, frequently have a family history of diabetes and show metabolic features of insulin resistance syndrome, suggesting high cardiovascular risk. Neonates of GDM mothers are heavier, longer and more adipose than those born to non-diabetic mothers, and suffer higher neonatal morbidity.

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